In response to public outrage over an alleged N585 million scam, President Bola Tinubu dismissed Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, on Monday.
This was revealed in a statement provided to media by Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s Special Advisor on Media and Publicity.
“In line with his avowed commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management of the commonwealth of Nigerians, President Bola Tinubu suspends the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, from office with immediate effect,” the statement read.
Tinubu directed a comprehensive inquiry into the alleged N585m scandal in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
He had also vowed to “decisively punish” those involved in any breaches and infractions unravelled during the investigations.
Several groups and individuals including the Peoples Democratic Party, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Femi Falana, SAN; the Yoruba Youth Assembly and other civil society groups demanded an unfettered probe of the leaked memo by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, instructing the Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr Oluwatoyin Madein, to pay N585m into the private bank account of a project accountant in her ministry, Bridget Oniyelu.
The minister had claimed that the N585m payment was meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ogun, and Lagos states, describing the allegations against her as baseless.
The Media Assistant to the Minister, Rasheed Olarenwaju, said in a statement that it was legal within the civil service for such payments to be made into private accounts of staff members, especially project accountants.